LAHORE - The Punjab Assembly on Thursday passed “The Punjab Shops and Establishment (Amendment) Bill 2013” which would allow working women to take along their children below six years by using the upcoming facility of daycare rooms at their workplaces.

However, the treasury did not pay heed to the proposals of the Opposition concerning “The Punjab Shops and Establishment (Amendment) Bill 2013”.

The provincial assembly session started with a delay of one hour and 25 minutes with Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal in the chair.

“The Punjab Shops and Establishment (Amendment) Bill 2013” made it mandatory for every shop, industry, organisation, institute, office or other business concern to establish a daycare room where more than 24 women would be employed to take care of the children of the female employees during duty hours.

The Opposition proposed the government should declare the daycare rooms as daycare centres to improve their management and providing facilities of health and sports for working women’s children.

Through another proposal, they also demanded half an hour break after every three hours for working women to look after their children, but the treasury did not agree with them.

The bill, moved by Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah, also increased fines from Rs 5,000 to Rs 20,000 on the violation of various rules and regulations on this count.

Punjab Housing, Urban Development and Public Health Engineering Minister Tanveer Aslam Awan, answering queries during the question-hour session, told the House that an inquiry report regarding the LDA Plaza inferno had been completed and an application for registration of an FIR against 14 persons filed in the police station concerned. He told the legislators that he would file the said inquiry report in the House next week.

The minister also told the House that the government was planning to launch Ashiana Scheme in Bahawalpur and Vehari districts and identifying land for the purpose.

Admitting poor sewerage in the provincial capital, he said that for lack of resources, the government had not established any sewerage drain for Lahore and was meeting this need with 12 strong water drains.

A treasury member, Sheikh Allauddin, walked out of the House in protest against the speaker for not giving a ruling over his question. Surprisingly, the speaker did not bring him back as per traditions till the end of the session. Opposition Leader Mian Mehmood-ur-Rasheed, criticising the metro bus service (MBS), said it was nothing more than waste of public money of billions of rupees.  He also opposed the extension work on the same project at Azadi Chowk and Chungi Amer Siddu with the huge amount of Rs 7 billion.

He contended more than 15 million people were living in Lahore while less than one percent people had been facilitated by the MBS, but 99 percent population of the city was facing serious problems of transport, unemployment, poor health, education and clean water.

Arif Abbasi, an Opposition member from Rawalpindi, on a point of order, said his city had no need of any project like metro bus service. He said the government should create employment opportunities instead of wasting public funds on unwise plans.

Countering the opposition criticism, the law minister said those calling MBS a “Jangla Bus” were now feeling embarrassed on its success, as more than 150,000 poor people were enjoying the facility.

The session was adjourned by the speaker till 9am today (Friday).